1. Not everyone or every business needs a website. If they do, in many cases the need is just for an HTML business card. If you have no time or inclination to create a dynamic, interesting site, your money is better spent elsewhere.
2. Before you hire a designer, consultant, or expert involving things like SEO, Social Network Marketing, Web-site design or anything remotely resembling the above, do your homework. There are a handful of TRULY brilliant people and an army of poseurs. Buy the best-selling book, hire the truly successful consultant, even if it costs more. If you go with the flashy web-site guy and his free e-book you get what you paid for.
3. The Internet is not a bulletin board. It’s not an infomercial or a television advertisement. Just putting up a flashy smile and waving your arms won’t sell anything. If you want to sell to people on the Internet, use people to do it – smart people with personalities who actually answer e-mail, interact with customers and listen to feedback.
4. Trying to recreate the brick and mortar world on the Internet has fail written all over it. A magazine with a quarterly subscription is limited by print costs, distribution, etc. The net is dynamic, fast-moving, and you have to engage your audience’s attention, then hold it. That means constantly changing dynamic interactive content. The more interesting site wins every time. A quarterly updated e-zine is just a parody of the old model and doomed.
5. When Seth Godin pointed to Lulu.com and said you no longer have anyone but yourself to decide whether your book gets published, he was not saying you can make a success of your bad book. He is saying if you put everything you have into that book, if you live / eat / dream your book and it’s good and you can get one person to buy it and recommend it, anything is possible. He also says if no one buys the book, you need a new book. New technology is not the answer to making things that suck work.
6. Entertainment, laughter, things that make people return happily to your section of the universe – these are the best tools at your disposal. Lolcats has a very simple site with a million unpaid comedians drawing their traffic. It works. Corporate sites are like the old rabbit fur blanket I once owned, and the reaction my cat had to it. I would drop her on it, and she literally seemed magnetically opposed, leaped away in panic. Boring, overbearing web marketing is going to fail. The only people making money on it are the consultants.
7. If you claim to be an expert in Social Networking or Social Marketing and your Facebook, Blog, MySpace, Twitter, etc. profiles feature you in a big flashy picture with dollar signs trailing out of your ears – or they are filled with links and offers and deals and e-books, etc….you are not only not an expert in ANY of those things, but you are part of the reason that people are afraid of the changes the Internet has to offer. That crap is archaic, doesn’t work, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
8. It costs more in time, money, and ulcer-inducing stress to monitor every minute of your employees time on the Internet than it could possibly be worth, and it’s like teaching pigs to sing. You are wasting your time, and it annoys the pigs. It does not stop your “most valued assets” from doing what they want – it only puts them in fear of you, adds tension to your working relationship, and kills enthusiasm. Instead, why not take a positive attitude toward the Internet, encourage useful interaction, engage your people in a manner that shows you are interested in how well they do, and not just in how rich YOU get – and see if it doesn’t improve productivity. I can almost guarantee it. I’m not suggesting you let people surf for porn or spend all day on Facebook, just that you not stand over their shoulders like an ogre threatening their livelihood if they show an interest in something new.
9. Myspace and Facebook -for all their size – comprise only a tiny portion of the Internet. If your “home page” resides on a service like this that only other members can view – you have efficiently blocked yourself from a huge portion of the most useful, innovative folks on the Internet. Facebook and Myspace are tools, but your web presence needs to be open, interesting, and accessible.
10. People will help you. REAL people are out there with every skill imaginable. You can make friends with them, do business with them, interact with them, share what you know and what you can do. The more you participate, the more you receive in return, and the greater your potential becomes. Don’t be a dillweed…join in the “conversation”. It’s our Internet (at least for the moment) and we should celebrate that and take advantage of it. Those merely trying to exploit it are starting to stand out like sore thumbs.
Don’t be a sore thumb.